We Ask, You Answer: Have You Ever Stalked Your Ex’s New Boo?

BE HONEST— HAVEN’T WE ALL DONE THIS?

 

A few days ago, the New York Times journalist Lindsay Crouse released a fascinating new piece about her ex-boyfriend, specifically about who he’s dating. Spoiler alert: it’s LADY GAGA! 

Crouse talks about the comparison dance so many of us do when our ex has moved on. She writes, “If you’ve ever googled an ex’s new partner (be honest) you’ve probably played a certain game with yourself. You’re either just curious — which is healthy of you — or you want to know how you compare. Ideally the ex’s life didn’t improve too much without you? In this case, though, that’s all upended. How do you compare yourself with Lady Gaga?”

It reminded me of all the times I’ve played this game; times when I’d stalk my ex’s Instagram, tap through photos, being extra careful to not double tap ANYTHING (you know the terror). Times I’d judge the new girl, or worse, make fun of her with my close friends. Or times when I’d do all of this, on an idle Tuesday, for no damn good reason, other than a little voice in my head pushing me to snoop. 

I even occasionally have weird thoughts about my husband’s ex—whom I’ve never met or ever had issues with. And yet still, every couple of years, I have questions: Is she happy? Does she have a new boyfriend? Does she think about my husband sometimes? What was her side in the collapse of their relationship?

Are we really just nosey snoops? Or are we snooping to compare ourselves and our relationships? It’s a fine line, I guess. For me personally, while I definitely used to compare myself pre-marriage, my intentions now stem more from curiosity. I spent almost a third of my life with my ex, so it’s only natural that once a year questions arise: Is he happy? What do he and his wife argue about? Does she ever wonder about me? Is he a good father? 

When these thoughts occur, I’m reminded of Crouse’s ending, which left a big imprint on me. She writes, “Recently someone sent me a photo of my fiancé and me dancing at a wedding, and I posted it on Instagram. I saw Lady Gaga’s boyfriend in the views, and I realized we’re actually all the same: strangers, smiling on a screen.” 

We’re all just curious beings at the end of the day, so if I have questions, then I’m sure he does too. We’re distant strangers who once knew each other intimately, and I know I’m wishing him well from afar. 

What it’s like for you…do you stalk your ex’s boo? If so, why? Are you just curious? Or do you find yourself comparing? What is your self-talk saying when you do this? Plus, have you ever been caught (an unfortunate double tap incident)?!

LET'S TALK: have you ever stalked your ex's new boo?

7 Comments

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

  1. I would say I’m more likely to stalk my ex’s social media rather than his new boo. Curious about their life, if he’s happy. Wonder if I still cross his mind and whether me thinking of him is completely harmless, or a weird unhealthy longing for boozy careless days-gone-by of my 20s.

  2. My boyfriend and his ex remained acquaintances after they broke up. They shared a few mutual friends; which meant I saw her a occasionally the first few months we started dating. We were civil to each other and got along, and started following each other on Instagram. One night I scrolled through her entire profile, and landed on old pictures of she and my boyfriend together. I found myself comparing myself to her: was I as pretty? Do I make him as happy as they look in this photo? Looking deeper into her life, I realized we shared the same interests and hobbies. I felt threatened. We were so much alike. I felt the need to indirectly compete with her. I started posting pictures of my boyfriend and I together, or doing activities/hobbies that I knew she also shared with me/liked with the intention of wanting her to see it. I wanted her to feel threatened by me; to be better than her. This is not something I’m proud of, and even typing this now I feel massive guilt and disappointment in myself.

  3. I definitely have compared myself to girls either currently or previously with romantic partners of mine. I usually start off thinking it’s just curiosity, but it creates a black hole of negative self talk. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other random women, let alone ones who you have crossed paths with in terms of men. I never feel as interesting or beautiful as these women, and oftentimes it will affect the relationship I have with the man that “connects” us. I feel as though I always WANT to know everything about them until I actually do.

  4. I still stalk an old ex-bf and I think it’s because I’m still shocked he was able to move on with his life after he didn’t give me back my favourite lululemon pants. LOL.

  5. Yes I have stalked my ex’s new partner…but nowhere near the same amount of times I have stalked my boyfriend at the time ex. Looking into who they dated before me makes me SO anxious yet I still do it. I am constantly comparing myself to their previous relationship.

  6. Yes! But nowhere near the amount of times I have stalked my boyfriend at the time, ex partner. Constantly comparing our relationship to theirs, why it didn’t work out. If we are similar or completely different people. It’s absolutely ridiculous because I’ll be in a happy relationship but still find myself typing his ex’s Instagram handle into the search bar. Or even worse..seeing if they still follow eachother. Ridiculous

  7. WHY DO WE DO THIS? I certainly have, and I’m not sure that the results have ever been something positive. Either you think she’s super cute and talented and stylish and you all the sudden can’t blame him for leaving your frumpy ass, or you don’t think she cute (or maybe you do so you over compensate in the other direction) and end up judging someone for their social media presence whom you’ve never met before and who has directly done you no harm. It is an unsustainable, unproductive way of validating ourselves. It’s interesting to me that this topic of conversation is also a thing of the norm, since not so many years ago in order to do this you would’ve had to show up outside their house dressed in black and a boys ball cap with binoculars and hope they pass by a window. It is possibly one of the more unfortunate things that technology gives us such freedom into. Either way, I’m way cuter than any of his new girlfriends anyways 😉

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